Trial of Suspect in Katie Gillihan’s Death Begins Today

Suspect was Benicia woman’s boyfriend at the time of her death.

The trial of the only suspect in the alleged murder of Katie Gillihan, a 2002 Benicia High School graduate, begins today in Fairfield at 9:00 a.m.

The suspect, Adam Wade Disa, was arrested about eight hours after Gillihan’s body was discovered by one of her co-workers from Rasputin Music on February 11, 2011 in her Military East home.

At the time of her death, Gillihan and Disa were romantically involved and were living together. 

During the preliminary hearing in the case on August 15, 2011 it was revealed that Disa and Gillihan were having relationship problems.

Disa is charged with murder.  He has two prior felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon in a crime that San Jose police classified as domestic violence.

During the preliminary hearing, Disa’s defense attorney, Ken Lee of the Solano County Public Defenders Office, argued that Gillihan’s death was an accident and that Disa should be charged with manslaughter and not murder. Initial autopsy results were inconclusive.  The final autopsy concluded that Gillihan died as a result of a sleeper hold.  That conclusion was based in part on what Disa told police during the investigation into Gillihan's death.

Lee didn’t want to comment on how he plan’s to present the defense but Assistant District Attorney Barry Taira confirmed that a jury can convict Disa of a lesser charge. 

The trial will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Department 17, Room 204 of the Justice Center in Fairfield and is expected to last about one week.


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